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New study shows Europe's pumped storage potential

PETTEN, The Netherlands 4/11/12 (PennWell) -- A recent study conducted by the Joint Research Commission and University College Cork has produced a new method to identify Europe's potential for pumped hydropower storage, a release says.

The JRC report, titled, "Pumped-hydro Energy Storage: Potential for Transformation from Single Dams", says that pumped storage is the only large-scale option available to accommodate the EU's 2020 renewable energy target.

The study proposes the conversion of conventional reservoirs into pumped-storage systems -- an option JRC says offers "much smaller environmental and social impacts" than new hydropower plants.

The report also includes case studies for Croatia and Turkey. According to the study, Croatia's pumped-storage potential is more than three times its current generation of 20 GWh. Meanwhile, JRC says Turkey could produce as much as 3,800 GWh, although the country currently has no pumped-storage plants.

The report, available here, was recently validated by a panel of more than 30 European hydropower experts, according to JRC.

In other pumped storage news, the New York Power Authority recently approved a US$1.6 million contract to Ferguson Electric of Buffalo to assist in the Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program at NYPA's Niagara Power Project’s Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant.

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